Don't be that girl - cover

Don’t be THAT girl

Don’t Be That Girl
Stork
2008

Submitter: Remember back in 2007 when noted TV personality and (“The Doctors”) Doctor Travis Stork was at the height of his popularity? Neither do I. Either way, he managed to write almost 200 pages on what to do to not be THAT girl, in a tone that one Amazon reviewer thought had just the right touch of “nurturing” and was only “slightly arrogant.” Which is baffling to me as my colleague and I flip through the pages.

I probably wouldn’t have bought this when it came out, whether the intention was to be actually insightful or just to write something with shock value (maybe both?). Finding in the the public library stacks today, I’d consider it at best an overly dated celeb/dating book, and at worst, something a patron might’ve taken to their local representative if they found it before me.

Sewing Casual Clothes cover

Sewing Casual Clothes

Better Homes and Gardens: Sewing Casual Clothes
1966

Submitter: My library holds an annual new book drive where we work with a local group who feed k-12 kids in food-insecure situations to provide a (hopefully) brand-new book to each kid over the winter break along with enough food to last them until school starts again. Unfortunately, sometimes we get donations that are weeded from other libraries, including this gem. I can’t imagine any current teenagers wearing any of this. For that matter, no one of my generation would have worn any of this either, and I’m getting old.

Holly: A book drive is not an opportunity to clean out your basement, people. Have a heart.

Get Ready for Robots cover

Beep Beep Boop

Get Ready for Robots
Lauber
1987

Submitter: I work at an elementary school library and recently weeded this gem of a book from the technology section. Get Ready for Robots by Patricia Lauber is from 1987, but the true awfulness is in the illustrations by True Kelley. I would hate a student interested in robotics to stumble upon this nonfiction book.

The Jews cover

We Came to North America

We Came to North America: The Jews
Horton
2000

Submitter: Perhaps the most surprising thing of all about this book is that, despite being published in the year 2000, the author and editors decided that it was okay to name the book “The Jews”. My birthday is Pearl Harbor Day, and at the age of 5, my mom took me aside to talk about why my granddad saying that it was the day the “Japs bombed Pearl Harbor” was not okay for me to repeat when talking about my birthday’s significance. If a 5-year-old can comprehend that certain terms are racist, why is it so hard for this book publisher, author, and editors to comprehend it? Even more so, if the nonfiction section in my library was weeded semi-recently, why was this book not weeded earlier, or, even better, why was it bought in the first place? Perhaps additionally horrifying is that this book is also part of a series:

“The Jews”
“The Chinese”
“The Hispanics”

Fortunately, “The Japs” was not part of that series, although “The Africans” is. While the content of the books may be marginally okay, the titles demand immediate weeding. I’m horrified that this book was sitting in my library collection for almost a year before I discovered it.

Tumbling and Trampolining cover

Tumbling and Trampolining

Tumbling and Trampolining
Loken
1977

Submitter: I weeded this book from my high school library immediately upon seeing it–way back in 1990. For some reason, however, I can’t seem to throw it away. It’s just too awful and each photo is better/worse than the previous one.

Uncharacteristically for high schoolers, there are no drawings or comments in the book, which is ripe for that sort of thing. Great conversation starter!

Mime Ministry cover

God Loves Mimes

Mime Ministry: An illustrated, easy-to-follow guidebook for organizing, programming and training a troupe of Christian mimes
Toomey
1986

Submitter: Weeded for condition from a public library, where it was still circulating. I think I’m finding it funny because of the “Troupe of Christian Mimes” in the title – one trained Christian mime isn’t enough to spread the Word?! My collection has a slightly more recent title on the topic that I’m keeping, which has the hilarious (to me) LCSH of “Clowns — Religious Aspects — Christianity”.